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Church Militant “To the Pillbox!”

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Always in search of new ways to artfully cover our heads to show deference to our Lord I have heard the cry “To the pillbox!” Today I would like to show you a link to a tutorial that you can easily follow as I have done to make your own pillbox hat.  Brenda Burton of Humble Bumble B gave an interview on a web program called Thread Bangers (2007)- they have tutorials on all kinds of crafty subjects.  Here is the link.

The first pillboxes I sewed were made of felt.  Recently I have made some using 100% cotton fabrics reinforced with interfacing.  I really like the versatility of this for color and seasonal transcendence. Here is Whistle in her pillbox after church.
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So how does it go together?  I modified the pattern slightly from the tutorial to be smaller for the little girls heads- I think it turned out to be a great size for all heads.  When you watch the video- Mrs. Burton gives an excellent and simple presentation on making the pattern.  I changed the dimensions on the oval to be 6.5 inches and 2.5 inches high.  My band is 9.5 inches long- both are cut on the fold. Here is an example:

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I then cut  the same pieces from the interfacing and iron them on to the wrong side of the fabric.

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Next I sew some 1/2 inch seam binding to the flat edge of the hat band.

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You can use any color you might have in the drawer as this part of the hat will not be seen when you wear it. I am using a serger here.  Not required- but it sure make the hat so nice and neat!  Then I iron the seam binding out flat.

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Fold the hat band right sides together and sew a 5/8″ seam-joining the ends together and then you are ready to pin it to the top of the hat.

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So line up the seam on one end of the oval and start pinning it around.

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I will sew this with the regular machine first and then give it a surged finish.

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Next I fold the seam binding to the inside and pin two short lengths of ribbon to each side so that you can catch a bobby pin that will hold the pillbox on your head.  In Mrs. Burton’s video she puts a hole in the felt-  I think with cotton you could do a couple of small button holes for your bobby pins- but I thought this was easier.

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Top stich around the top edge of the seam binding to finish the hat.

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All that is left is the embellishments.  We picked a selection of buttons to adorn the front of these pillboxes- you can keep them bare and then use a broach or other jewelry and change it up to match your outfits.  An artfully applied flower with a corsage pin can also make a good decoration that you don’t have to commit to.

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Here is Whistle’s finished pillbox.  She picked out the buttons and sewed them on herself.

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Here is Whistle and Bubble together with their custom pillbox hats-these are so feather weight- once you have them pinned on you don’t even remember they are on your head.

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Until you get to church and receive your first complement on your pillbox- and then you remember it is there.

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God Bless!


Happy Mother’s Day!

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Happy Mother’s Day to all the hard working mothers in the world today. I appreciate special times like these. When a precious little creature finds a comfy spot on my lap and alights for this brief time. If I don’t quiet myself I will miss the opportunity to capture the true beauty of the moment. This little wild thing that is resting so peacefully here will soon stretch its wings and fly away. She will be grown and about the business of her vocation in just a few afternoons it seems-life has a way of moving so fast. So on this mother’s day weekend I hope you are snuggling with your wild thing or if you have already had the pleasure and the pain of one flying away I hope you are able to close your eyes and remember that time when you held them, listened to their breathing and nuzzled their sweaty brow.
God Bless!

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Happy Birthday!

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October is a big month for birthdays around here. For the past 22 years we have celebrated four birthdays (our two oldest kids and my Dad and his Mom).  This year we will add the first birthday of our cutie pie, Squeak, and celebrate her great grandmother’s 95th birthday. Grandma has been an excellent seamstress all of her life making her family’s clothes, teaching her daughters and many, many grandchildren and great grandchildren the fine art of sewing.  Many a grand prize 4-H ribbon has been had under her tutelage and I have done much consulting with her on these bonnets over the past few months as I resurrect my sewing skills.   Here is grandma in a jacket that she made for herself just last year.  Incredible.

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Everything is quilted.  I love the fabrics she picked out.  I think she started in January thinking she would need the time to have it done for Easter… She was finished with the jacket before the end of the month.  Here is the back.

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We are having a big party for this wonderful lady and I am looking forward to seeing family and friends.  Birthdays are something I try to make special and I have always loved to spend some time on the cake.  This year I got inspired to spend a little time on the hat!  Check out this adorable birthday fascinator that I made for Squeak’s first birthday.

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I used pink “Its a girl” ribbon for the embellishments and the trim has adorable puff balls.  Here she is with her cake on the night of her party.

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I have been having problems with my camera and I think that some little fingers were messing with the resolution- but we have to make due.  Here is squeak and her hat close up.

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Well- the midnight oil got lit up and I have been on a run ever since.  I have to share with you my muse…

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Yes, Elizabeth Gaskell period mini-series from the BBC.  A dear friend turned me on to the whole thing.  My most favorite is Cranford. I just love everything about it.  AND the bonnets and hairstyles are just worth singing about.  So I have been up the last few nights- needless to say- and this is what I have come up with.
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These little birthday fascinators are what every little girl needs on her birthday to feel most special.  I found the cutest glittery pink elastic to hold the whole thing on- all the pieces are light as a feather so they are hardly a bother to the birthday girl.  Here is a cute one all in sparkly hearts and lace.

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It has a pink organza fan on a tulle background with a lace and satin yo-yo center all set off by a big, shimmering heart shaped button.  The pink heart lace is very sweet- and everything is set on a base of cotton fabric illustrated with lollipops and cupcakes.  Next I ran with the same theme as the gem I made for squeak and added a silk flower with a sparkly button center.  This one has the adorable puff ball trim that I need to go back to Hobby Lobby and buy a 100 yards of.

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The third one has a bit of the dramatic with this fantastic pink organza fan- also set on a tulle background.  It has a heart shaped button too.  Every time I look at this cute fascinator I think of the movie short of Puss in Boots The Three Diablos.  He goes to this princess who has lost the “Heart of Fire” ruby from her crown.  She says to Puss “My heart has been stolen.” and he says, “I am innocent, I have never seen you before in my life.”

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Finally my favorite birthday hat for babies and toddlers everywhere is a play on the traditional birthday hat shape.  This is a little shorter then the ones you buy.  It is also softer and lighter and just one hundred times more adorable.

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The fabric! The flower! The PUFF BALLS!!  Oh my goodness this is cute on- see our squeak modeling here.

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I can think of all kinds of possibilities here for customization for themed birthday parties.  Princesses, clowns, dinosaurs, elephants, blues, pinks and Fancy Nancy’s… Oh my.  All of these are up at our Etsy shop that you can get to by clicking here or by visiting our page Shop.  You can also contact me directly with an email to GloryBee@GloryBee.us .  I would love to work with you on your next birthday party to help you make it special for your precious blessing.

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God Bless!


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Toot Sweets

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Don’t waste your pucker on some all day sucker
And don’t try a toffee or cream
If you seek perfection in sugar confection
Well there’s something new on the scene
A mouth full of cheer
A sweet without peer
A musical morsel supreme!
Toot Sweets!

Lyrics from the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang courtesy of ST Lyrics

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Yes Ladies, Toot Sweets!  These are the cutest fascinators ever!  Just the sweetest morsel of fabric confection that sits atop your little sweetie’s brow.

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Here is our Bubble and Whistle wearing their Toot Sweets after church on Sunday.  Squeak is in the middle with her new fall denim bonnet (for another post). They just sit on their head secured with a couple of bobby pins and what an impression they make. Here is a close up of Whistle’s fascinator.

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The base is made exactly the same as the Tutorial on Fascinating that we showed last weekend.  I made a red satin burnt edge flower and gave it a beautiful button that I found at Hobby Lobby (I love that store and we need to support the owners on their stand for Religious Freedom!). I made a yo-yo of brown broadcloth but did not connect the ends.  The tulle fan is a lovely blue.  Everything is sewn on securely and light as a feather.

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Bubble’s Toot Sweet is also made to match her outfit and has all the same elements.

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She has three yo-yo flowers one made of lace with another great Hobby Lobby button- that red sparkly heart. The split end yo-yo is of red broad cloth and the fan is made of red sparkly tulle.

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A third Toot Sweet that I made that day is of the same style.  It has a base that is made of a fabric that I can’t get enough of- we have made skirts of this gorgeous blue and red rose fabric and I am thinking up more things I can make with it- I think a bonnet in this blue would be lovely too.

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No flower for this one- just a vintage metal button from my grandmother’s collection.  It gives it almost a military sensibility.  Or very patriotic I think.  Here is the close up.

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This is actually the first of the three I made and as I went along I found that I liked the stitched edge detail that I put on the others better than leaving it seemingly unfinished.  These fascinators where all done in an afternoon- you can follow the tutorial that I put up last week and make your own- or contact us here at Glory Bee and we would love to make one for you. GloryBee@GloryBee.us

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You may be wondering what is all the business about wearing hats- it has been so out of fashion.  As a Catholic I have been digging into my faith tradition and found that prior to the changes in the Church brought about with Vatican II in the 1960’s -women have covered their heads in church for centuries.  In scripture St. Paul tells his Church “I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you.” 1 Corinthians 11:2 Part of that tradition is the relationship of man to his God.  In that same chapter St. Paul says that “The head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.” 1 Corinthians 11:3  He admonished the church to say that “Any man who prays of prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled dishonors her head- it is the same as if her head were shaven.” 1 Corinthians 11:4-5 Sounds harsh right? And when I am first chewing this scripture I am thinking whoa!  The book that puts me on this path is Colleen Hammond’s Dressing with Dignity -given to me by a brave dear friend-(her website still has many great articles-but it seems to have not been updated since 12/12).  A whole revelation on feminine dignity and how our culture has gone off the rails in terms of the sexulization of its children and the immodesty of their mothers. I am blown away with the idea- so foreign to everything that my youth and the 80’s espoused- that my desire to be sexy in my dress, my striving to elicit the favorable looks of men could potentially be causing them to sin!  Heaping hot coals on my head!  Jesus tells us not to commit adultery- not even in our minds-and here is our culture encouraging us to wow the men and cause envy in the women. Whoa! and double whoa!

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Now I am deeply examining my conscious.  In my faith journey I have fallen deeply in love with the Lord and I want to be pleasing to Him.  I want Him to see me submitting to His authority.  I want Him to see me at Mass approaching His table with the utmost humility and gratefulness for His sacrifice and the gift of salvation that He has given me. So now I join the Saints and women of thousand of years and I cover my head in the house of the Lord.  But the problem we have today in our church is that I feel like my sign of humility before God is taken of a sign of haughty righteousness by the other members of the church.  When I put a traditional mantilla on my daughter of 8 years old a little friend of hers said with great distain “What is that thing on your head?” My heart broke.  So especially for my girls I am creating new and beautiful ways to cover our heads and show God our humility and show our fellow church goers how fashionable and beautiful humility can be.

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I found a great article that really sums up everything I have tried to explain here in a much more succinct and articulate way – with references it is called Ladies in Lace: Catholic Women and Veiling.   Praise be to God!

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God Bless you.


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Boys and Bonnets?

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Do boys wear bonnets? My husband says definitely “No.” I think they might. Surely until they are a year old Moms can sneak a bonnet over those “Oh so adorable” curls that they refuse to cut.  Boys need the sun kept out of their eyes too- and a bonnet is the perfect solution for little ones that need to lay down.  A boonie hat or a beach bucket hat on a baby less than six months old is impossible to keep on.  The bonnet however is flat on the back of their head- a thin and more manly tie keeps it securely in place.  I say, “What could be more practical then a bonnet for boys?”  Here is my first attempt.
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This bonnet is called “Danny’s Dinosaur”- Ode to a favorite book of my childhood.  I couldn’t resist the red rick-rack on the brim- depending on feedback from Moms  I might need to on future boys bonnets.  The ties are narrower than the girls bonnets.  Instead of floral embellisments I went for another felt applique like the cupcake bonnet.  Here I cut out a dinosaur/Godzilla character and embroidered details using a great book by Aimee Ray called Doodle Stitching The Motif Collection.  This book was lent to me by an a great and talented friend who has inspired me to embroider.  My maiden voyage here- I might have to find some extra patience somewhere so that my stiches are more even…
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I have just finished a second boys bonnet for a friend and this one is called Jonah and the Whale for most obvious reasons.
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When I was researching online how Jonah was being depicted as a children’s character I came across a really great site Laura Thoughts and she has a tutorial for these really cute “Quiet Books” that she has made for her children.  There is a Noah’s Ark, David and Goliath, and a super “Armor of God” felt book where you dress the little character in his spiritual armor.  Her Jonah is much better then mine. So, so cute- so make sure you check out her site.  When reading the Aimee Ray book I was enamored of this stitch where you make a running stitch and then weave in and out on the top of the prior stitch with a different color.  I thought how great this would be for his hair-it would give me another color for texture- and when I cut out the hair I made it larger than the face because I surmised that he might have a beard.  Now I am thinking that Jonah might be looking a little more like a lion than a man.
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I need also some instruction on how to make a curved line with my stitches as the whale’s spout is a little straight.  Well- Live and learn.
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I hope that my friend enjoys this bonnet for her little boy.  You can let me know what you think on our Facebook page for Glory Bee.  Friend us there and you will see links to all new posts from our blog displayed on our timeline. So- do boys wear bonnets?

God Bless You!

 


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Quintet of Bonnets

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I am on a roll making these beautiful bonnets- they are like a Mommy addiction. As soon as I have a favorite I find another outfit that doesn’t have a hat to coordinate! These five bonnets featured here are ones I made for a customer to choose from.  She didn’t have a color pallet she was looking for so I made a variety and she chose two!

Here is the first one I am calling Apricots and Old Lace.
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It has the same ‘dotted swiss’ like apricot colored vintage fabric as the Aplets and Cotlets Bonnet I did earlier this month, however I used a repurposed lace that my daughter had picked up from Goodwill.  This lace from this dress has had nine lives- we have used it on three projects that I can remember- all beautiful.  The interior fabric and rear panel of the bonnet are apricot colored gingham.
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The contrasting band and ties are a cream colored eyelet.  This fabric is another vintage piece and just works great here.
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For the flowers I again used the same type of flower as I had on the Aplets and Cotlets Bonnet.  I used pearl buttons for the centers with a tulle and ribbon background.
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Here is the second of the five bonnets and I am calling this one Southern Lemonade.  I don’t know if there is such a thing- but this bonnet is so lemony and refreshing with the blue accents and a belle of the ball sort of feel to it.
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The lace is a delicate nylon lace and the big lemony flower is handmade from yellow organza.  I do a soft gather of the organza on the serger.  The fabric is cut about four inches wide and I fold it over and feed it into the serger.  Then I wrap the fabric round and round into a rose.  I found the best instruction online with a ribbon rose tutorial on YouTube here.  I don’t use hot glue- I sew the rose as I go letting the needle and thread dangle as I am folding.  That way the rose should not come undone (in a perfect world) if the baby happens to get ahold of the bonnet and start chewing on the flowers.
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The fabric is another piece of vintage yellow gingham from my magical treasure trove of fabric and the contrast is one of the beautiful quilt fat quarters that I received from my sister just the other day.  You can see all the colors I have to choose from in that post Christmas in July.  I used a large check print for the outside and a smaller gingham check of the same color on the inside.  The blue gingham yo-yo has a repurposed fabric covered button in the center.  Everything is set on a tulle back ground with this really pretty green ribbon that you will see I couldn’t put enough on in the next bonnet too.
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The third bonnet is a sister to Southern Lemonade- and it is called the Blue Eyed Susan.
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The fabric is vintage blue gingham and the contrast is more of the fat quarters shared by my sister.  The charm of this bonnet is the big blue organza rose and those two Blue Eyed Susan flowers.  Again I used a silk flower- taking apart the flowers I added a blue puff ball for the center.  Everything is hand sewn onto the hat so that it is secure.
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The fourth bonnet is called Strawberries and Cream.  The vintage pink poke-a-dot fabric reminds me of strawberry cream pie.
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The flower is a silk that has been reconfigured and is embellished with a tiny dragonfly charm.  I also have a pink gingham yo-yo with button center all set on top of a tulle and green ribbon background.
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The interior is pink gingham and the contrasting band and tie is a beautiful green print quilt fat.  I think I finally am getting the hang of constructing these bonnets.  I am one of those sewers that is always putting the zipper in backwards.  I have a hard time visualizing that when I pin this here and sew it there and turn it inside out that this is what is going to happen.  Anybody relate to that?  So I am always having to rip out a seam- especially in the corners where the ties attach to the hat.  But for this run I did it without a hitch- so 20 bonnets makes perfect?
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So finally here is bonnet number five- I saved it for last because it is my favorite of the five.  I couldn’t even come up with a name because it is so cute.  Purple is one of my favorite colors and the puff balls and the yo-yo’s and the butterfly….
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The fabric is purple gingham and seersucker!  The yo-yos are a purple gingham with an eyelet yo-yo on top-all sitting on a tulle and ribbon background.
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That is just too adorable.  Like a sugary doughnut with maple frosting and chocolate drizzle and sprinkles and bacon! So much but so good.  The interior fabric is a cute purple flower print on white background and the contrasting band and ties are another quilt fat in a darker purple print.
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Well the customer that I made this Bonnet Quintet for picked this purple bonnet for her precious little girl and chose the Apricot and Old Lace for her sister-in-law.  I have the remaining three available.  If you are interested please click on the contact page and drop me a line.  All are a size small which is a 18″ head circumference.  My squeak has been wearing the size small for a while and at the time of this posting she is two days away from being 10 months old.  The bonnets I am making for her now are a medium or 19″ but she still fits her size small bonnets. In fact here she is with her big brother wearing the first bonnet I ever made while on vacation this summer at Twin Lakes.
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Thank you for sharing your time with me.  I enjoy floating these creations out there for everyone to enjoy.  By the way this picture is of my oldest (age 23) and my youngest (almost 10 months).  Isn’t it amazing all the things we find ourselves doing in a span of years like that. Glory to God in the highest!

God Bless You!


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It’s A Cupcake Party!

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I have been on a roll making ten bonnets in all and a few baby fascinators in the last three weeks.  All this flurry of activity due to an interest of some lovely Moms at swim lessons.  Someone said, “Do you make those bonnets?” Then they said, “Do you sell them?”  A tentative “yes” and I am off and running.  Here is a picture of the bonnet that I came up with for this wonderful Mom who posed the question.

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The fabric is all seersucker- an adorable print with candy and cupcakes and the contrast is a beautiful bright pink. My oldest daughter (and art director and partner here at Glory Bee) cut out the cupcake from felt for me and I embroidered it to the hat and added the seed bead sugar with the puff ball cherry on top.

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This bonnet is just SO CUTE!! I started here adding tulle to highlight the embellishments and as you will see with future posts that I am continuing to think that looks great. Here is the detail on the rick rack brim trim.

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I am celebrating with this cupcake bonnet the grand opening of my shop GloryBeeBonnets on Etsy this week.  Please check it out or friend us on Facebook at our Glory Bee page.  You can contact me directly at glorybee@glorybee.us or on our contact page.  The bonnets listed there are just a beginning.  I am happy to fulfill a custom order for a baptism or special occasion- or you might find a dress that is delightful and we can work to match the colors for a beautiful bonnet.  The more I make them the more I just love them.  They are a fitting crown for these little blessings we receive from our Lord and Creator.

God Bless!


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Aplets & Cottlets

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Here is my latest sweet treat that I am calling Aplets & Cotlets. Now that I have confirmed the spelling of the famous fruit candy from Liberty Orchards I am thinking I should rename that bonnet- apples and apricots… Wow I didn’t know they left out a ‘p’ in apple that has really got me confused.  Anyway the candy is sweet and so is this new bonnet.  Here is Squeak modeling in the garden and she has discovered the solar light stake nearby the blanket- it would come in handy as we fended off the crawly bugs while taking our pictures…
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This is the first time that I have used flowers that I didn’t make myself on a bonnet.  I pull them all apart- taking the plastic forms out of the centers and then arrange them in a pleasing configuration and applied a really cute button and some pony beads for a wonderful effect.
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The fabric is vintage hand-me-downs from my stepmother’s mom.  Beautifully repurposed here for Squeak. Here is a last picture of this adorable bonnet the perfect color combination for summer.
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God Bless you!


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Old Straw Hat Update

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Recently Whistle celebrated her birthday and from her big sister she received a beautiful hat box (a future post) full of lovingly worn hats from Goodwill and St. Vincent’s.  Also included were some dollar store silk flowers to embellish with- a great gift idea to be sure.  So here is our Saturday afternoon hat project.

First I took at piece of vintage ‘dotted Swiss’ and sewed a hat band.  I knotted it around the hat and then secured the ends and the opposite side with my Trinity Tack Stitch. The Trinity Tack Stitch is when I take double thread make one stitch for each person of the blessed Trinity-saying “In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”  For the “Amen” I tie it off with a double knot.
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Then Whistle selected some flowers and we removed the plastic middles.  Restack them in order and then make a Trinity Tack Stitch in the middle- while the thread is still in the flower tack it to the hat.
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Here is the finished hat:
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I think the red punch mustache is really what makes the hat-she is beautiful.
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Here is a closer detail- I think this took me 30 minutes total to put together.  Whistle wore it Sunday to church.
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In conclusion I want to say that the Lord calls us to pray without ceasing.  The Trinity Tack Stitch is one of many things that I have created so that every hour of everyday I acknowledge my heavenly Father- so that He is ever present in my mind and all the little things I do for love of my family, friends and for love of Him is dedicated to Him.  In eating, in drinking, in all that you do, do everything as for God’s glory. 1 Corinthians 10:31


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First Holy Communion

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Here is the dress, veil and matching handbag that I made for our daughter Whistle’s First Holy Communion and Confirmation.
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The dress is made from a vintage Butterick pattern that was passed down to me from my Mother’s sewing collection.  I love picking up old patterns and making them come to life!
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The veil is made from an organza that has embroidered crosses.  I have a second layer of organza underneath.  I ran a rolled scarf hem on the serger, gathered the veil and sewed it to a purchased headband that was covered with white fabric.  I then added the hand made flowers. Here is the detail on the veil:
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And the flowers:
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The hand bag comes from an online tutorial that I found at Shelley Detton’s site.  I love everything she is doing there!  Take a look here:

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What a joy it is making such careful and prayerful preparation for this sacred day.  Glory be to God.  She hasn’t taken her gloves off yet!
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Here she is with her oldest sister and sponsor (who is also wearing a skirt and bolero jacket sewn by Glory Bee).
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